Late sting for U19s
Article written by James Gray, All Golds Media
Photographs supplied by Lewis Mitchell, All Golds Photographer
In the opener to the Kingstone Press Championship One encounter, the All Golds U19s Academy took on their South Wales rivals. It was a great start from Michael Stewart’s travellers as they scored three early tries to take a brilliant lead.
Just two minutes in, hooker Luke Stephens showed good awareness to sneak under the Scorpions defence and score the games first try. Stephens’ efforts were matched and bettered from a fantastic individual break from Josh Williams. The winger firstly intercepted the killer pass and from his own try line sprinted through to score in the corner despite nearly getting pulled down just short.
After two great tries the All Golds were looking confident and it showed when James Mason lofted across a beautiful cross field kick to Joe Rider, who ran the ball into the corner and gave the away side a 16 point advantage.
But they’re very proud of this academy team here in Wales, and the young side showed some real courage and determination to get back into the game. The Gloucestershire side gave away a number of penalties in careless positions which seemingly cost them. Both Joe Simons and Paul Edwards took advantage of the chances created by the referee’s whistle, as Simons scored in the corner and then Edwards ran through again down that left side.
With two tries in the bag the Scorpions grew into the game, and despite being 16 points adrift at one point, actually took the lead. Simons scored his second to bring the teams level, and then after some fantastic work down the opposite wing, including a neatly executed offload, Gethyn Lloyd sent the Welsh team ahead.
They may have watched their lead disappear, but the All Golds were more than up for the challenge against a re-vitalised Scorpions side. Dale Cooper’s try left the game poised for a thrilling second period, with both teams heading into the break with 20 points each.
Cooper was again influential when the All Golds scored early in the second half, making all the initial yards before Dan Spencer-Tonks powered his way through to score. However, not allowing the opposition to break away the Scorpions quickly replied as Edwards picked up his second try of the game. However, Cooper looked unstoppable at times, again breaking clear and this time playing through Joe Rider as the away side lead 24-32 after 50 minutes.
The game was ebbing and flowing, as now Shane Lee and Edwards fought back for the Welsh side putting the hosts once again ahead, in what was turning out to be a mighty contest. Then with only 10 minutes left to play the Scorpions would score again to extend their lead, and it would be enough for them to claim victory 38-32.
Michael Stewart’s side had played valiantly in defeat and you couldn’t take anything away from their efforts, in what was such a tight affair.
“This week leading up to the game we talked a lot about the word desire and how this can be portrayed on the field.
Each player identified some expectations of themselves and others. This mentality really showed in large patches of the game, especially the first 20 minutes when we raced to a 16-0 lead. During these periods constant effort and communication was evident.”
“As with any game of rugby league the tide shifted, where the little things weren’t being executed, like kick chase and getting numbers in the tackle. It was a great game for the on looking first team squads to watch with a fierce rivalry shown.
Overall, disappointed in the final result but happy with the improvement in attitude from previous weeks showing what we are capable of when we show that desire and how poor we are when we sit back and go through the motions.”
All Golds U19s vs South Wales Scorpions
1. Joe Williams
2. Josh Williams
3. Terence Babarinsa
4. Josh Stafford-Smith
5. Joe Rider
6. James Mason
7. Callum Smith
8. Brad Kislingbury
9. Luke Stephens
10. Matt Jones
11. Dan Spencer-Tonks
12. Dan Saunders
13. Dale Cooper
14. Anthony Coates
15. Lewis Locke
16. Gregor Hamilton
17. Dan Robinson